Singapore and Malaysia – 3

One of the most visibly recognizable birds is the flamingo. But would you recognize it’s sound? This is one example where I don’t feel the animal’s sound matches its looks.

The clip below is at a ‘hawker’ center, one of the many permanent food vendor areas in Singapore. This one is just outside the Esplanade performance venue, which is shaped like a durian fruit (see photo below, the spiky building, and compare with the green fruit in the first picture on this page). The hawker centers were firm social fixtures in Singapore, and were definitely the place to go for Singaporean food.

At the Esplanade, my friend and I saw a performance of the Singapore Chinese Youth Orchestra which turned out to be one the highlights of my trip. The orchestra was laid out in a similar fashion to ‘western’ orchestras, but had a swath of erhus instead of violins and violas, and also had other instruments foreign to my ears. I didn’t record any of the concert, but check this link to their site, or this YouTube link to some cool Chinese orchestra performances.

On Sunday I attended a church service that was held in both English and Mandarin. During the spoken parts of the service, the English would be translated into Mandarin, but the songs would be sung in both languages at the same time. It was a very different sensation to be in the congregation and hear half the singers singing the old hymn “What if it were today?” in English and the other half sing in Mandarin.